Do not throw away cauliflower leaves


Our grandmothers used to say that certain parts of vegetable plants are simply not edible, or rather we simply do not eat them. The “brave” of us may use these forbidden parts to make a broth or the basis for sauces, but otherwise we put them in a composter or worse, we throw them in the trash.

A typical example may be cauliflower leaves. If they were ever used in our part of the world then only by enthusiasts of sinology and Chinese poetry (remember the popular Mathesia’s Songs of Old China). All those who longed for some Chinese food, prepared their dishes according to their Asian idols and replaced young bamboo (which was hard to find) by cauliflower leaves. And it was not a bad idea, because petioles of cauliflower leaves really taste like young bamboo and even the preparation is similar…

Using cauliflower leaves in real life

Let us go back to the “kitchen waste”. Cauliflower leaves contain vitamin C, folic acid and also plenty of fibre. Only the really old ones with woody petioles are not suitable for consumption, otherwise you can enjoy them whenever you like.


Photo: Pixabay

So, how to prepare rather stiff cauliflower leaves? Put them on a baking sheet pan, sprinkle with your favourite spices, and oil and bake at 200 °C for about 8-10 minutes and you will have a great side dish for meats or a tasty and warm addition to your vegetable salad.

In Asia, cauliflower leaves are marinated in a soy sauce and then added to fried or grilled dishes. The green parts are cut into strips and added to stewed cabbage. The younger and softer ones are used to wrap various dishes instead of the popular grape leaves.

Young leaves are braised in butter for a while, then salt and pepper is added, and are served as a side dish with many meals. They retain their typical crunchiness and taste. Similarly, you can use them in any creamy soup or vegetable mixture that is seared in a pan. It is really easy and fun!

Preview photo: Pixabay

Radek Štěpán

Gardening is my hobby, I have a lot of experience and I am happy to share it.


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